Gwen Bergen, PhD, MS, MPH

Gwen Bergen, PhD, MS, MPH

Team Lead, Safety Promotion Team, Applied Sciences Branch, Division of Injury Prevention


Areas of Expertise

  • Older adult falls
  • Older adult mobility

Gwen Bergen serves as the team lead for the Safety Promotion Team in the Applied Sciences Branch of the Division of Injury Prevention at CDC’s Injury Center. The Safety Promotion Team’s primary focuses are the prevention of drownings and older adult falls.

Prior to becoming team lead, Dr. Bergen was a behavioral scientist working on older adult fall prevention for seven years. Her emphasis was on implementing and evaluating clinical fall prevention strategies and investigating better sources of surveillance and economic data for unintentional injury. Much of her past and current work includes a focus on understanding older adult injury prevention attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and designing evidence-based tools to encourage them to adopt behaviors to reduce their injury risk. Prior to serving on the Safety Promotion Team, Dr. Bergen was a behavioral scientist on the Transportation Safety Team, working on older adult mobility, alcohol-impaired driving, and data linkage. Dr. Bergen began her career at CDC as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Center for Health Statistics, where she worked with the injury group. Prior to starting her career in public health, she worked as a computer scientist, designing, developing, and testing information systems.

Dr. Bergen received her Bachelor of Science degree in health systems and her Master of Science degree in information and computer sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and her doctoral degree in health policy and management with an emphasis in social and behavioral science from Johns Hopkins  University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Bergen has authored and co-authored articles in several publications, including:

  • Bergen, G., Stevens, M. R., Kakara, R., & Burns, E. R. (2019). Understanding modifiable and unmodifiable older adult fall risk factors to create effective prevention strategies. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. doi:10.1177/1559827619880529
  • Johnston Y, Bergen G, Bauer M, Parker E, Wentworth L, McFadden M, Reome C, Garnett M. Implementation of the Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths and Injuries (STEADI) Initiative in Primary Care: An Outcome Evaluation. The Gerontologist. 2018. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny101.
  • Florence C, Bergen G, Atherly A, Burns E, Stevens J, Drake C. The Medical Costs of Fall Injuries among Older Adults. Journal of American Geriatrics Society. 2018:66:693–698.
  • Bergen G, Stevens M. Burns E. Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥ 65 Years—United States, 2014. MMWR. 2016; 65(37):993–998.